Not Getting Machine Gun Rights Anytime Soon

Even in Alabama:

While Alabamians support gun ownership, they do think there should be some restrictions in certain cases. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said felons who have paid their debt to society should not have a right to own a gun while 77 percent said they favor prohibiting ownership of fully automatic weapons.

Speaking as someone who’d love to own a few title II firearms, if you can’t even get 30% of the public in Alabama to support legal machine gun ownership, you’ve got a long way to go on the issue.  Truth be told, I have my doubts it’s even achievable.  NRA has seemingly staked out a position that accepts the NFA and GCA restrictions on machine guns, while hinting at support for the status quo, and perhaps even a position against the 1986 Hughes Amendment.  Just getting the Hughes Amendment repealed would be a miracle.

17 thoughts on “Not Getting Machine Gun Rights Anytime Soon”

  1. Getting Hughes repealed is all we need.

    I personally suspect that we may be able to point out that AOW/SBR/SBS are not functionally different from the handguns protetcted by Heller. It’s an arbitrary legal distinction left over from when the NFA banned handguns and other concealable weapons but the version passed by congress forgot to delete “other concaelable weapons” from the statute.

  2. I agree. If we can just get the Hughes Amendment repealed, that will give us a huge foothold towards making the use of machine guns by law abiding citizens seem normal. Repealing that amendment would eliminate that artificial limit on supply, allowing us to finally buy them at retail again.

  3. You’d think that whole “sporting purposes” import restriction could be done away with too in light of Heller. I suppose I could live with the NFA if I had no choice as long as the Hughes Amendment was done away with.

    But, although IANAL, I’ve been told over and over by lawyers that the law has nothing to do with justice or reality or even what the people want. It’s a weird animal unto itself and you never really know which way it’s going to go.

  4. Supreme court law is very different from the rest of the legal landscape especially when they are deciding something that is going to attract a lot of political attention or create a lot of work for the federal courts.

  5. I’ve been told by people in the know that you can pretty much forget about machine gun rights coming out of the federal court system. Getting Hughes is going to have to be a political effort. I tend to think repealing the other restrictions on Title II firearms aren’t even remotely feasible at this point.

  6. And I would gladly pay 200 bucks extra apiece to be able to get all the cool MG stuff that has been invented since 1986.

    Once we do that, it’s only a matter of time before machine gun ownership goes up.

    Then again, silencers have been relatively unrestricted compared to MGs and their ownership numbers aren’t particularly high. That I am aware of.

  7. I’m not getting too discouraged by the naysayers. 20 years ago, no one with any legal knowledge would have predicted Heller to come out as a victory for us.

    If we can translate Heller into real gains in the dozen or so anti-gun jurisdictions in this country, we will be reaping the benefits for decades to come. Every obstacle to gun ownership we get rid translates to millions of people potentially joining our ranks.

    I say wait and see with machine guns. Things could look very different in another 5 or 10 years if we play our cards right.

  8. Has anyone here ever tried bump-firing their semi-auto weapons? It seems just as good as having a full-auto, and it’s still legal almost everywhere, I think.

  9. It may look very different in 20 years. I would not wager anything on a time line that long. In ten years, after 8 years of Obama and an filibuster proof Democratic Congress, things may very well look different indeed.

  10. If Obama gets elected this November, I predict there will be a mad rush to buy up semi-autos and high-capacity magazines before they get banned again.

  11. i’ve been calling this election for the GOP since shortly after the 2004 one, and my analysis hasn’t changed; if the Dems can’t win by a landslide, they can’t win at all — and Obama doesn’t look like a landslide winner to me.

    that said… if he does win, he’ll probably do the country a lot of good, and i’m buying me an AK-clone before he’s inaugurated. possibly a Glock, too, while i’m at it. and perhaps take a look at what the local pawn shop wants for an AR, if i can get there before they sell out. i may be a leftist, but i’m not stone blind…

  12. Nomen,
    You and I may be Leftists, but Obama isn’t. That’s becoming clearer every day.
    However, he does have an authoritarian/messianic streak and an anti-gun past.

    And would have lots more power as a chief executive thanks to G.W.Bush’s legacy.

    Anyway, been there done that; Have myself a WASR-10 and an AR-15, and a chicom SKS. I even bought a hi-cap Mini-14 mag from Academy, and I don’t own a Mini-14.

  13. i can see a better challenge to the NFA rules than getting rid of hughes. The fact that you have to have a CLEO signature and that many CLEO’s will not sign the paper even if you meet all other requirements makes the entire NFA system “arbitrary and capricious” and it also violates equal protection by allowing residents of one county to do things that their neighbors cannot.

  14. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said felons who have paid their debt to society should not have a right to own a gun…

    This is a bit troubling. Sounds fine – until you know some of the things that are felonies. Like wearing a bracelet. Yep. A few years ago a young woman in Cambridge mAsS was told by a man in the street that her bracelet (leather band with pyramid-shaped studs) was illegal and she could be convicted on weapons charges for having it: she checked with a nearby cop who confirmed it – which annoyed the first man who did not like being doubted, who then revealed himself to be a detective, and threatened her…

    Or a case in California. Armed thief takes two convenience-store employees into a back room. He then tells one to tie up the other: while this is happening, the thief is momentarily distracted and the employee takes the chance (OK, maybe stupid), successfully attacking the thief, getting the gun, calling police. Employee is then arrested and held, to be transferred to State prison – because he is on parole, and being “in possession” of a gun violates it. Matter dropped after newspaper story generates protests.

  15. It’s going to take education starting at the grassroots level and progressing upwards. Educate people about what NFA weapons are and how they are controlled. That they are not now and never have been banned or made illegal from private ownership. Complete the paperwork, pass the background check, pay the 200 dollars for the tax stamp and write a check for roughly six times what the weapon is worth, and you too can own a machine gun. Too many people are under the misconception that they are illegal to own. Keep educating those that are misinformed. It won’t be an easy process, it won’t be a fast process, but it will be easier and faster with the intarwebz, so long as the facts are stated in plain language and the enemies of gun ownership are buried in facts and logical arguments.

    my opinion anyway.


  16. I wonder if existing owners of pre-1986 sub guns would fight the repeal of Hughes because a repeal would knock about 75% of the value off of their guns, now valued in the many thousands of dollars.

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